Wait For It

My favorite activity for procrastinators

by Mark Entzminger/ June 3, 2016

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had a date on the calendar for an activity, you knew you needed to get it promoted to the kids and families, but you had no idea what to do? Perhaps you were overwhelmed with details for other ministry items and you just could not slow down long enough to make a few phone calls, do the research, and plan the activity… but you did not want to cancel that date.

Let me introduce you to my favorite activity for procrastinators (or just plain busy people). I call it “Destinations Unknown!”

Several years ago I found myself in the exact situation described above and found the solution to be announcing the event as “Destinations Unknown.” It created a sense of mystery and curiosity and allowed me to answer honestly whenever I was asked me to spill the beans. “I don’t know, you’ll have to come find out” was my truthful response. Here’s how it works.

  1. Announce “Destinations Unknown.” Give the date, time, and cost (if you think there will be one), and assure the kids you will give their parents/guardians the details prior to departure.
  2. Finalize your plans by the week before the event (if you really must wait that long). Communicate to the kids what they need to bring and where they need to meet.
  3. On the date of the event, kids show up not sure what to expect, but confident they will have a great time—cuz you are a great children’s leader!
  4. Do the event with excellence, include the Bible and a spiritual response time, laugh a lot, and make some memories.
  5. Return kids back to the church unscathed and ready for the next mysterious adventure they now know and love as “Destinations Unknown!”

Over the years that we did these activities we took kids to the pools of a natural hot springs, to a church member’s home for a cookout, to a historic jail cell, to an Air Force base to meet with a B–2 Bomber pilot and fly a simulator, and more.

I hope you’ll come to love the anticipation kids have when they show up not knowing what to expect. And I’m sure you’ll enjoy gaining more time to plan and build excitement for your mysterious, unknown destination.